Romans 5:7 – Die for a Good or Righteous Man?

I’ve been reading Romans in a study Bible. I’ve never used a study Bible for reading. My wife and pastor friend have done it and benefitted from it, so I thought I’d try it for something different. I chose the Reformation Study Bible because I liked what I saw of the notes when I used it briefly in the past.

As I was reading through Romans 5, I saw that there isn’t a note for verse 7.

I used to get hung up on what type of a man, of these two types, was a better person a worldly person might die for. Now I think it’s just a literary device that Paul used. So I found these in other study Bibles, the ESV being especially helpful. To see how I came to this, you can see the Stuff and Bother below if you’d like.

As uncommon as such a sacrifice is, Paul’s point is that we were neither of these persons— yet Christ sacrificed Himself for us.

NASB, The MacArthur Study Bible, by John F. MacArthur

Rom. 5:7–8 On rare occasions, even a human being will die for a righteous (morally upright) person or for a good person (one who has done much good). God’s love, however, belongs in an entirely different category from human love, for Christ did not die for righteous people or those who have done good for others but for sinners, that is, for ungodly, unrighteous people living in willful rebellion against God. It is not just Christ’s love that was shown in his death but also God the Father’s love. While God’s righteousness and justice led to his plan of salvation through the death of Christ (see Romans 3:25–26), it was his love that motivated this plan.

ESV Study Bible

Stuff and Bother
As noted above, I’m using a study Bible for reading and more ‘shallow’ study. The notes, which I don’t read all of, can be helpful in tipping me off to things, like how trinitarian the first part of Romans 1 is, as an example.

When I didn’t find anything on verse 7, I remembered that I have the MacArthur Study Bible on my phone in Kindle format. Then I thought about how I have the ESV Study Bible and the NLT Study Bible, both of which have online versions (and the NIV somewhere too). So while reading chapter 5, I decided to use all four at the same time. The ESV and the NLT are each in a separate browser tab. The HCSB Study Bible used to be online, but apparently, it’s not anymore, or I’d use that too. I’ve chosen not to use the big commentaries for now, but I plan to next year.

I need to be lying down most of the time, so I can’t sit at a table with a lot of books around me. It’s a nice setup, although I probably won’t use it much in the future. I also have the ‘dead people commentaries’ in e-Sword if I need them.

I’d like to write more about Bible reading I’ve done and plan on doing in the future, if I have the ambition.

Photo of a Bible

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